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USAT/SBN October 2010 MMA Consensus Rankings: Heavyweight

Rank Fighter % Promotion Last Rank
1 Cain Velasquez 98 UFC 3
2 Brock Lesnar 94 UFC 1
3 Fedor Emelianenko 89 M-1 Global / Strikeforce 2
4 Fabricio Werdum 86 Strikeforce 4
5 Shane Carwin 83 UFC 5
5 Junior dos Santos 83 UFC 6
7 Frank Mir 76 UFC 7
8 Alistair Overeem 75 Strikeforce 8
9 Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira 70 UFC 9
10 Antonio Silva 53 Strikeforce 12
11 Josh Barnett 52 Strikeforce 10
12 Brett Rogers 46 Strikeforce 11
13 Brendan Schaub 31 UFC 27
14 Cheick Kongo 27 UFC 14
15 Andrei Arlovski 26 Strikeforce 16
16 Roy Nelson 26 UFC 17
17 Gabriel Gonzaga 24 Free Agent 13
18 Mirko Filipovic 22 UFC 15
19 Ben Rothwell 22 UFC 20
20 Aleksander Emelianenko 22 Azerbaijan Pankration Federation 19
21 Pedro Rizzo 21 Impact Fighting Championship 18
22 Tim Sylvia 18 Powerhouse World Promotions 21
23 Stefan Struve 15 UFC 23
24 Randy Couture 14 UFC 22
25 Cole Konrad 14 Bellator 29

Rankings compiled by Richard Wade.

Obviously the epic news this month is the rise of #1 Cain Velasquez after his demolition of #2 Brock Lesnar at UFC 121.

He'll defend his title against #5 Junior dos Santos in early 2011.

The other big mover from UFC 121 was #13 Brendan Schaub who jumps up from #27 with his win over #17 Gabriel Gonzaga.

Meanwhile we wait to hear when and if #3 Fedor Emelianenko will return to Strikeforce for the final fight on his contract.

Presumably that will be a rematch with #4 Fabricio Werdum although that would leave Strikeforce champ #8 Alistair Overeem out in the cold.

Perhaps he'll be able to console himself by taking home the K-1 GP title.

#5 Shane Carwin had to drop out of a UFC 125 bout with #16 Roy Nelson. No word on who Big Country will face next. #18 Mirko Cro Cop Filipovic has been rumored. #7 Frank Mir is another possibility, but they're likely going to save him for a rubber match with #2 Brock Lesnar. #9 Antonio Rodrigo "Big Nog" Nogueira is still recovering from the surgery that made him miss UFC 119.

#10 Antonio Silva will face Overeem's brother Valentijn Overeem at Strikeforce's December 4th event in an utterly pointless matchup. Especially with #11 Josh Barnett and #12 Brett Rogers both sitting idle. Rogers did fight and win a tune up fight against aging journeyman Ruben "Warpath" Villareal outside Strikeforce last week. He didn't look good but the thing that matters is the win.

#14 Cheick Kongo escaped from UFC 119 with a tie against Travis Browne. He cost himself the fight with blatant fouls. His fellow long-time UFC gatekeeper Gabriel Gonzaga lost to Schaub and was cut. I'm presuming that his high cost is the reason for the cut. It's too bad, I'd have preferred to see Kongo vs Gonzaga in a battle of the gatekeepers/loser leaves town match first.

#15 Andrei Arlvoski signed to fight in K-1's GP but bowed out. No word on what's next for the Belorussian.

#21 Pedro Rizzo and #22 Tim Sylvia were rumored to meet sometime soon, but nothing has been heard recently. I'd like to see the winner of that fight in Strikeforce.


Based on the premise that all MMA rankings are subjective but that it’s still useful and informative to know who the online MMA community as a whole ranks as the best fighters in MMA, we collect and average the rankings of the top MMA websites to produce our consensus rankings. We compile the top MMA rankings from each of our sources and award 25 points for a first place ranking, 16 for a 10th place ranking, 1 for a 25th place ranking. A formula is used to "normalize" the data so all fighters are awarded points from those lists that do not include a full 25 fighters. This formula ensures that each ranking site awards the same number of total points regardless of how many fighters they choose to rank. Each fighter’s total is divided by the number of possible points to determine their standing in the Consensus Rankings.

We are now moving to what JCS of Fight Matrix has described as assumed rankings in an attempt to rank fighters who move between weight classes. This has been the biggest problem with the consensus rankings and we believe this new methodology will rectify that.

Let's take Anderson Silva for instance. 87% (13 of 15) of our panelists have him at Light Heavyweight and 100% (15 of 15) at Middleweight. On the 13 ballots that ranked Silva at 205, we took the average (21.2). We then reduced that number by half the percentage of Light Heavyweight ballots that he was not included on. Say he's not on 30% of them, then we do a 15% penalty on the average that we found in the previous step. That number is then used instead of the usual "normalization number" to provide points from those not ranking the fighter in the weight class in question. This avoids fighters being excessively penalized by confusion about which weight class they belong.

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